herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Gregory brother backs Burke's bid over O'Sullivan

Noel Gregory
Noel Gregory

The brother of late Independent TD Tony Gregory has endorsed Christy Burke for the general election and not Maureen O'Sullivan, who considers herself the "Gregory candidate'"

Noel Gregory has publicly supported the former Lord Mayor's bid for the Dail.

"I endorsed Christy because he soldiered with Tony for over a quarter of a century on Dublin City Council in service of the people of Dublin central," Mr Gregory told the Herald.

Legacy

Tony Gregory's legacy continues to carry political sway in his former constituency. He engineered the famous "Gregory deal" in 1982, which is credited with transforming inner city Dublin.

His brother's decision to align himself with a rival candidate will come as a blow to Ms O'Sullivan, who is vying to retain her seat.

"Maureen is seven years a TD and she should be able to stand on her own record now.

"I have no doubt that she will probably regain her seat, wouldn't it be great if we had two independents?" Mr Gregory said.

Mr Burke said that he had welcomed his new supporter with open arms, describing having him on board as "an honour and a privilege".

"I know Noel 40 years and he is a machine when it comes to elections," he said.

Meanwhile, Ms O'Sullivan said that she was "surprised" by Mr Gregory's decision as she still had the backing of the so-called "Gregory group" in the area.

"All the people who were with Tony in 1979 are certainly supporting me, so I don't know what he's doing," she said.

Mr Gregory was "perfectly entitled" to support any candidate, she said.

"I'm staying true to the principals of the late Tony Gregory. who brought me into politics. I'm quite happy that I'm doing what Tony would want me to do," she said.

Ms O'Sullivan cut her teeth in politics working alongside the popular TD, who passed away in 2009 aged 61 following a battle with cancer. Previously, his brother threw his weight behind councillor Gary Gannon, who ran in the local elections as an independent.

Mr Gannon has now declared his intention to contest a seat in the constituency as a Social Democrats candidate.

"Noel is a friend of mine and I will always hold him and, of course, his brother Tony, in the highest of regard, but there comes a time when each of us must stand upon our own merits," he said.

"That's why I chose to join the Social Democrats - it can't only be about highlighting inequalities but rather about learning from past mistakes and building towards being in a position to be able to legislate for a more equal society," he added.

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